It’s well known that one way of getting students to come out is free food. I mean, Katy Perry works too, but she’s not always available. If you’ve got an “important dialogue” on an “issue facing young people” and you want students to show up instead of trying to get laid somewhere, you have to bribe them with food.
Except, students aren’t stupid. They know it’s a trap. Students aren’t like Midwestern field mice who think, “Look at this chunk of cheese, it must be my lucky day!” They’re like Manhattan city vermin who show up to a $50 mousetrap with a screwdriver and an EMP.
If there’s any way of pulling it off, students will show up to the event, grab the food, and duck out long before the featured speaker starts droning on about things that people wouldn’t listen to in a podcast while they exercised.
Well, one law school has had enough of students showing up to take the food and not staying to take their medicine. A school-wide email demands proper event etiquette….
The law school is Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and the administrators don’t want people to take the food unless they are willing to do the time. This is from a school-wide email sent by the dean for student services:
Dear JD and LLM students:
As you return from what we hope was a relaxing and productive fall break, I wanted to remind all students that it is inappropriate to take food from student organization, academic center, administrative office-sponsored, and other law school events if you do not attend the event (and five minutes spent taking food does not count as attendance). When law school students, staff, and faculty purchase and provide food for their lunch and evening programs, they intend to provide food only to the students and others who are actually attending their event. We have limited funding and purchase food based on projected event attendance.
Yeah, good luck with that, Case Western.
Look, it’s obviously bad form to take food that is not intended for you. But is it reasonable to expect law students to ignore unattended carts of food?
But that’s not the only food restriction Case Western is trying to put on its students:
Also, if you take food from an event you are attending, please take reasonable amounts so that everyone else in attendance can be served. Just as we purchase food based on projected attendance, we assume that students will be mindful of others and not take food as if it is their only meal of the day.
We know that the vast majority of you do not need this reminder, and we thank all of you for your cooperation.
Umm… what if it’s their only meal of the day? Law school is expensive; if you can get a free meal, that’s just being cost effective.
Here’s my suggestion: don’t buy food, buy beer. It’s cheaper. Your turnout will be better. You’ll always be able to find somebody to drink it, so you don’t have to worry about spoilage. And your events will be way more fun.
Problem solved, Case Western. Now somebody invite me out to speak at one of your awesome new “Benches of Beer” events next spring, and we’ll have a grand time.